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Amazon Alexa Now Knows 10,000 Skills, Standing Witness In Murder Trial Not One Of Them

By Edge Ison , Feb 24, 2017 03:15 AM EST
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Alexa, the AI from Amazon has reached the 10,000 mark of acquired skills, an astounding feat by all means. Interestingly, though, the ability to stand trial as a witness for a murder is not among those skills.

Amazon introduced the Alexa Skills Kit platform in June 2015 to allow third-party developers to create skills for Alexa. A few months after the platform was launched, the skill set only numbered 135. A year later, the number grew to 1,000 skills. At the start of 2017, the figured multiplied to 7,000 and today, Amazon announced that Alexa has reached an impressive 10,000 skills.

The AI's skills or apps are few as compared to those available to mobile devices and their digital assistants such as Apple's Siri. These skills number by the millions and are available through Google Play and the App Store. According to Wired, however, the feat is an indication that digital assistants like Alexa are on its way up. This was evident during the CES 2017 where Alexa was utilized or supported by a number of smart devices including cars, refrigerators, security cameras, toys, and smartphones.

Among the other popular skills of Alexa include interactive games and activities such as Jeopardy, Word Master and Magic Door. It has skills for home exercise, cocktail recipes, Yo Momma jokes, pickup lines and tons of others. What it can't do, or at least Amazon won't let it do, is to testify in a murder trial.

Alexa is currently caught in the middle of a controversy involving the murder of Victor Collins with the suspect, James Andrew Bates, being the owner of an Amazon Echo. Authorities are trying to get Amazon to divulge what the smart speaker in question may know about what happened on the night Collins was killed. The e-commerce company filed a motion to dismiss the search warrant for the Echo's recordings. Amazon believes that the device, particularly the "conversations" exchanged and recorded, is protected by the First Amendment. According to The Verge, however, Amazon may still provide the recording if the authorities present a "high burden of proof."

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